The Avant-Garden Shop: Your Garden & Bird Store

Attracting Hummingbirds and Orioles

  Sweets for the Sweet In May, we begin to see the arrival of hummingbirds, orioles and warblers. The beautiful but elusive warblers are generally happy within the safe cover of trees to provide a healthy diet of insects, but hummingbirds and orioles will come to gardens and feeders if we provide what they love … Read more

GARDEN GATE: Episode 290 – Keeping out the squirrels! (April 12, 2024)

In the last episode Brenda talked about keeping grackles and starlings away from feeders. This week is about keeping the squirrels off. The Brome Squirrel Buster feeders are really the best option. These are triggered to close with the weight of a squirrel. Another great option is to put a baffle on your pole. These … Read more

GARDEN GATE: Episode 269 -Accessories, butterfly feeders, ant moats and jelly! (June 23, 2023)

Accessories! We have butterfly feeders that can make a great addition to your garden. They drink the same simple syrup with a 4:1 ratio as the hummingbirds and also enjoy sliced overripe fruits. The Birdberry Jelly we carry is also a huge hit with the orioles and other fruit eating birds. Ant moats, which you … Read more

Evening Grosbeak & Purple Finch irruption 2022

A Spruce Budworm outbreak in northern areas meant a lot of food for Evening Grosbeaks and Purple Finches this year. That, coupled with a smaller mast (seed and nut) crop, means there are more individuals of these species than there is food to support them, so many will move father south than usual this winter … Read more

Garden Tips: Planting for winter bird use

You’ve purchased and set up your bird feeding station, filled it with high-quality bird food, sat down by the window with your binoculars and identification guide, and… …no birds! What’s up with that? Birds need food to survive, of course, and feeders can provide them with desperately needed calories, especially in the deep cold of … Read more

Hummingbirds & orioles, oh my!

Watching any bird at your feeder can bring such joy, but there’s something special about the aerial magic of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird or the vibrant colour of a Baltimore Oriole. These species arrive in the Peterborough area in early May, and both have particular feeding needs that require different setups. Hummingbirds There are several species … Read more

Garden Tips: Supporting Birds during Migration

Spring migration amps up in April Many bird species return or pass through our region in April and May for the breeding season. Migration is extremely risky for birds: unpredictable weather, predators, window collisions, and food scarcity are all threats, never mind the raw physical exertion needed to fly continuously for hours at a time … Read more

Why aren’t the birds using my new feeder?

New feeders, pole systems, and baffles to keep squirrels away? Check! New, fresh, high-quality bird seed? Check! Binoculars, identification guide, and excited anticipation about all the birds you’re going to see? Check! Birds? … insert cricket sounds here … So what’s up with that? There are plenty of reasons why there aren’t any birds coming … Read more

Garden Tips: Marching Into Spring

The days are getting longer, and the Northern Cardinals and American Robins are singing up a storm! Things start getting busier in March in the bird world as our year-round-resident cavity-nesting species start courtship and breeding behaviours. Male songbirds use song to define and defend their territories, as well as to attract females. Woodpeckers use … Read more

Garden Tips: Jewels of the Air

Some people refer to hummingbirds (“hummers” to birdwatchers) as “winged jewels,’ which is no surprise, given their small size, the males’ brilliant iridescent colours, and the way they flit about. There are 5 hummingbird species in Canada, but only one, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, in Ontario. Males have bright red throats, iridescent green backs, wings, and … Read more

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